General Information about the Aircraft Register

  1. What is the aircraft register?
  2. What aircraft registration information does CAA currently make available on its web site?
  3. What is the difference between the Aircraft register and the online version?
  4. What address can I have on the online register?
  5. My aircraft is registered in the name of a company, can I remove the details off the online register?
  6. My aircraft is registered in the name of a partnership, syndicate, club, trust or society - can I remove the details off the online register?
  7. Does the Civil Aviation Act protect my interest in an aircraft is the operator becomes insolvent?
  8. Why should I register my interest?
  9. I own the aircraft and lease it to another operator. Does this interest need to be registered?
  10. Do I need to register my interest on both the International Registry and the Personal Property Security Register? How do I register my interest with the International Registry?
  11. How do I register my interest on the Personal Property Security Register?

Recent Changes to the Online Aircraft Register

What changes have recently been made to the online aircraft register?

The online register still looks, feels and operates in the same way as it did before. However, individuals can now ask the CAA to remove private contact details from the online register. Consequently, when using the online register, you may find that the name and address of a registered aircraft owner is not available. At present there are less than 100 individuals who have asked for their details to be removed from the online register.

These changes are intended bring the CAA into line with good information privacy practice.

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Why have these changes been made?

Following discussions with the Privacy Commissioner, the CAA decided to alter some practices around the online register. We are confident that the online register meets the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993.

Can I ask that my name and address be removed from the online register?

Yes, but only if the aircraft is registered in the name of an individual. Email privacy@caa.govt.nz to ask for your details to be removed from the online register at any time.

Alternatively, you may wish to provide a different postal address (eg, non-residential).

Your name and address will be displayed on the online register until you request removal of this information. This is consistent with the advice on current CAA forms.

I have asked that my details be removed from the online register; what happens next?

Once the CAA receives a request by an individual, or qualifying trust, or club, or syndicate (see question X), to remove personal details from the online version of the register, the request will be processed as soon as practicable, usually within two business days.

If my details are removed from the online register can third parties still access my personal contact details on the register?

Under section 74(3) of the Civil Aviation Act, information held at the Registry (including that contained on the aircraft register) must be made available by the Authority, in accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982 for inspection by the public free of charge.

Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria under section 12 of the Official Information Act may request information from the register, including your personal contact details.

The CAA is obliged to make information available under the Official Information Act unless there is good reason for withholding it. Privacy interests may provide good reason to withhold contact information. However, the CAA must assess whether the privacy interest in the information is outweighed by other public interest considerations which support disclosure of the information.

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Is CAA required to tell me when someone has requested my details?

No. Nothing in the Official Information Act, the Privacy Act or the Civil Aviation Act 1990 requires the CAA to advise you that a request has been made for information that includes your personal details.

If there are specific safety or security reasons why you believe the CAA ought to notify you of any request for information about you, you should advise the CAA of this.

If I have asked that CAA remove my personal details off the online register, does the CAA need my permission to disclose my personal details if a third party asks for them?

No. Even though the CAA may hold information about you, this does not mean a person "owns" information about them.

As we are bound by the Official Information Act 1982, we are unable to ask for an individuals’ permission to release information about them. The CAA is obliged to assess each request and decide whether it is appropriate to release the requested information; that is, whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the privacy interests at stake. The CAA does not require your permission before information can be disclosed under the Official Information Act 1982.

In most cases it won't be practicable for the CAA to advise you that information has been requested, particularly where a requesting party is seeking information about more than one registered owner.

The CAA may, however, in some circumstances, contact individuals who are the subject of a request to:

  • advise them of the request having been made; and/or
  • seek their views on disclosure.

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Who will still have access to full register information?

The CAA has statutory obligations to maintain and preserve records and documents relating to activities within the civil aviation system, and in particular the New Zealand Register of Aircraft and the Civil Aviation Registry; the CAA is the principal and authoritative source of aircraft registration information.

There are a number of organisations and individuals that require frequent access to aircraft registration information, either for the purposes of contacting the registered owner (such as for billing and landing charges, etc.), or to perform their own civil aviation regulatory functions. These organisations will continue to have access to full register information.

These organisations may include:

  • Airways Corporation of New Zealand, aerodrome and airfield operators
  • Part 145 maintenance organisations and Part 146 design organisations, Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (LAMEs), design delegation holders, Part 66 maintenance approval holders and aircraft manufacturers.
  • Government agencies, such as the Rescue Coordination Centre, Police, Fire, Inland Revenue Department, and the Department of Conservation.
  • Overseas authorities and organisations, including National Aviation Authorities in overseas jurisdictions and the International Civil Aviation Organisation for the purposes of meeting New Zealand’s international law obligations under Article 21 to the Chicago Convention.

Can I stop people obtaining my personal information for commercial or marketing purposes?

Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria under section 12 of the Official Information Act 1982 (including any commercial organisation) may request access to personal information about you held by the CAA, including your personal contact details on the aircraft register.

The CAA is obliged to make information available under the Official Information Act 1982 unless there is good reason for withholding it. Privacy interests may, in some circumstances, provide good reason to withhold contact information. However, even where privacy might be relevant the CAA must assess whether the privacy interest in the information is outweighed by other considerations which render the disclosure of the information as desirable.

The CAA would be unlikely to release contact information to a company if it was clear to the CAA that it was being used for bulk marketing purposes.

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General Information about the Aircraft Register

What is the aircraft register?

Under section 73 of the Civil Aviation Act 1990 (“the Act”) the CAA is required to establish a register of all aircraft registered under section 6 of the Act (“the register”). The register is held by the CAA and is subject to both the Privacy Act 1993 and Official Information Act 1982. The CAA is required to enter certain information on the register, including:

  • the date of registration;
  • the description of the aircraft
  • the name and address for service of the person lawfully entitled to the possession of the aircraft for 28 days or longer
  • the registration mark allocated to the aircraft
  • if applicable, the description of the identifiable paint scheme and markings approved under Civil Aviation Rule 47.104.

The CAA also collects and maintains information such as postal addresses, email and other personal contact details on the register.

The register is held digitally on the CAA’s data systems and used for a range of regulatory purposes.

What aircraft registration information does CAA currently make available on its web site?

The CAA has for many years provided an ‘online register’ on its web site that allows a user to obtain information about aircraft registered in NZ.

The basic online register includes the following details:

  • the registration mark allocated to the aircraft
  • the description of the aircraft (manufacturer and/or model)
  • the serial number of the aircraft
  • the maximum certificated take-off weight (MCTOW) for the aircraft
  • the name and postal address (as advised by the applicant) of the registered owner

Further inquiries via the web site allow access to additional information including:

  • Aircraft class
  • Flight manual number
  • Mode S Code Country/Aircraft
  • the aircraft registration history (ie, dates registered, change of possession etc, but not name and address information)

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What is the difference between the aircraft register and the online version?

Both registers contain largely the same information. The key difference is that the online register only displays the postal address, and not the address for service, provided to the CAA.

The postal address listed is the address that is provided to the CAA by an applicant at time of registration.

What address can I have on the online register?

The address that is listed on the online version of the register can be any address that you choose. It is permissible to use a PO Box address, a lawyer’s address or company address.

It is important that the address you do choose is one that is monitored and cleared regularly, because it is used by organisations and individuals to distribute important safety information and updates to you.  CAA will also use this address to send information to you, including invoices and safety publications.

You must still maintain a valid physical address for service in New Zealand which will be recorded on the aircraft register maintained by the CAA. The address for service is used by the CAA to deliver important or safety critical regulatory information. Unlike your postal address, if CAA directs information to your address for service it is deemed that it has been notified to you irrespective of whether you physically receive the communication or not; it is therefore your responsibility to provide an address for service that is valid and regularly cleared.

My aircraft is registered in the name of a company; can I remove the details off the online register?

No. A company name and postal address is not personal information and is not subject to the Privacy Act 1993.

You are also welcome to change the postal address currently recorded on the online register to an address that better meets your purposes. Information about registered companies, including the registered office address and address for service, is already publicly available on the Companies Office web site. If you are currently using a postal address on the online register that is both a company and residential address, you may wish to change this address with the Companies Office.

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My aircraft is registered in the name of a partnership, syndicate, club, trust or society - can I remove the details off the online register?

The table below provides some guidance:

Type Can details be removed? Comment
A Limited Partnership, established under the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 No Information is already available on Companies Office web site
Partnerships, formed under the Partnership Act 2008, but are not a Limited Partnership Yes – but only if partnership includes identifying name of an individual Contact CAA: privacy@caa.govt.nz
Clubs or Syndicates that are not separate legal entities (i.e. not established as a Limited Partnership, Trust or Company) Yes – but only if club or syndicate name includes identifying name of an individual Contact CAA: privacy@caa.govt.nz
Family Trusts Yes – but only if name of trust includes identifying name of an individual Contact CAA: privacy@caa.govt.nz
Trusts incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 No Information is already available on Companies Office web site
Societies incorporated under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 No Information is already available on Companies Office web site
Other partnerships, syndicates, clubs, trusts or societies not listed above Case by case assessment Contact CAA: privacy@caa.govt.nz

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Does the Civil Aviation Act protect my interest in an aircraft is the operator becomes insolvent?

No. To protect your financial interest in the aircraft, you need to register that interest on either the International Registry or the Personal Property Security Register. To determine which register you should use for your interest, check the FAA web site: Aircraft and Aircraft Engines Eligible for International Registry Recording.

If the aircraft or engine is listed, you should register your interest on the international registry. If your aircraft or engine type is not listed, you should use New Zealand’s Personal Property Security Register, see Cape Town Convention – Protocol Specific to Aircraft Equipment.

Why should I register my interest?

The main reason is financial protection. If a company becomes insolvent, its assets will go to secured creditors first. And, under the Cape Town Convention, a registered international interest takes priority over a subsequently registered interest and an unregistered interest. An unregistered interest includes an interest registered on the Personal Property Security Register. For example, Person A registered an interest on the PPSR on 1 January 2014. Person B registered an international interest on the International Register in the same collateral on 1 March 2014. Person B has greater priority in the item and Person A will likely recover much less money if insolvency occurs.

I own the aircraft and lease it to another operator. Does this interest need to be registered?

Yes. If your interest is capable of registration under the Cape Town Convention, you should register it on the International Register. The Cape Town Convention allows for the registration of prospective sales and leases.

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Do I need to register my interest on both the International Registry and the Personal Property Security Register?

You should seek independent legal advice on this issue as the advice may be different for each person depending on their specific circumstances.

How do I register my interest with the International Registry?

See the International Registry of Mobile Assets. You will need to sign up, and there is a fee.

How do I register my interest on the Personal Property Security Register?

See the Personal Property Securities Register. You will need to sign up, and there is a fee.

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